Overview

Fort founded Sentinel Trust in 1997 as the successor to both the Fruehauf and the Flowers Families single-family offices. Since then, Sentinel Trust has grown to serve families nationwide with the same standards for investments and service set for the founding families. Like all of Sentinel Trust’s senior officers, he maintains a close relationship with a number of client families.

He has served on the boards of multiple private and public businesses in industries ranging from engineering and manufacturing to banking and mining. Fort has spoken extensively on family businesses, succession, and governance.

He is active in the community and served as a trustee of St. John’s School, the Texas Presbyterian Foundation, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, Inc. He chaired the board of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, was the Texas Regional Board Chair for the MIT Corporation Development Committee and the President of the Petroleum Club of Houston, and is currently the Investment Committee Chair of the Georgia Tech Foundation.

Professional Background:

  • Trustee/Portfolio Manager, Flowers Family Trusts, Houston, TX (1987–1997)
  • Design Engineer, Schlumberger, Houston, TX (1985–1987

Professional Organizations:

  • CFA Society of Houston, Member

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MS in Mechanical Engineering (1985)

Georgia Institute of Technology, BS in Mechanical Engineering (1983)

Certifications

Chartered Financial Analyst designation (1992)

IN THE COMMUNITY

Outside Boards:

  • National Lime & Stone Company, Compensation Committee Chairman (1988–2012) – Privately held minerals company (controlled by another family) with $70 million in revenue.
  • New Covenant Trust Company, Vice Chairman of the Board (1999–2006) – Nationally chartered trust company wholly owned by the Presbyterian Church.
  • Green Bank, Loan Committee Chairman (2006–2010) – Privately held Houston bank.
  • Coastal Bancorp, Inc, Investment Banking & Compensation Committees, Audit Committee Chairman, Loan Committee Chairman (1992–2004) – Publicly traded Texas bank with $3 billion of assets.
  • Ohio Bank, Loan & Trust Committees, Investment Committee Chairman, Audit Committee Chairman (1987–1998) – Privately held bank (controlled by another family) with $600 million in assets.

Community Involvement:

  • Georgia Tech Foundation, Trustee and Investment Committee Chair
  • Petroleum Club, Former President
  • St John’s School, Former Trustee
  • MIT Corporation Development Committee, Former Texas Regional Chair
  • Texas Presbyterian Foundation, Former Trustee
  • Presbyterian Church (USA) Foundation, Inc., Former Trustee
  • Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Former Board Chair
TALKS

Talks:

  • “Succession Planning in the Family Office”– NMS Conference
  • “Family Dynamics in a Family Foundation”– Cleveland Ohio Community Foundation
  • “Multi-Client Family Offices: Challenges & Best Practices”– Institute for Private Investors
  • “Transitioning from a Family Office to a Multi-Family Office”– Financial Research Associates
  • “Multi-Family Offices: Should You be a Client or a Founder?”– IBC USA Summit
  • “Communicating the Concept of Risk to Investors”– Rice University, Center for Computational Finance and Economic Systems
  • “The Family Decision-Making Dynamic”– Family Office Exchange
  • “Intelligent Use of Advisors”– Family Office Symposium
  • “Wealth Sustainability Across Generations”– Family Office Exchange
  • “Wealth Sustainability and the Family Office”– Thunderbird School of Management
INSIGHTS

On Watch – September 2017

In this issue:
“A Hedge Fund Primer” by M. Taylor Scott, CFA
“Becoming a non-family director of a family business” by D. Fort Flowers, Jr., CFA
“Putting Legacy 401k Accounts to Good Use” by Andrew B. Smith, JD

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POSTED IN: Investments, On Watch, Planning

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On Watch – September 2014

In this issue:
“Best Habits of Private Investors” by D. Fort Flowers, Jr., CFA
“Estate Planning for Digital Assets” by Andrew B. Smith, JD
“Bringing Your Children into Your Business” by Ross W. Nager, CPA

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POSTED IN: Estate Planning, Governance, Investments, On Watch

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On Watch – December 2013

In this issue:
“Ladies and Gentlemen…Bets Please” by Bruce L. Swanson, PhD
“Functional Investment Committees” by D. Fort Flowers, Jr., CFA

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POSTED IN: Governance, Investments, On Watch

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On Watch – May 2013

In this issue:
“Should You Lend to Friends and Relatives?” by Ross W. Nager, CPA
“Making a Senior’s Home Safe” by Lissa Gangjee, JD, CFP®
“How Fear Can Increase Investment Risk” by D. Fort Flowers, Jr., CFA

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POSTED IN: Administration, Governance, Investments, On Watch

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